Chapecoense, the Brazilian soccer club whose plane crashed en route to the championship match, has been awarded the Copa Sudamerica title a little over a week ago.
Atlético Nacional (Medellín), whom Chapecoense were scheduled to play in the final, asked the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL) to name Chapecoense the honorary champions of the tournament.
For their actions of fair play, Atlético Nacional received the Centennial CONMEBOL Fair Play award of $1 million by the South American Football Federation.
Atlético Nacional willingly gave up their possible title in respect, and showed a prime example of sportsmanship in the world of sports. Atlético Nacional has been applauded for their sportsmanship by fans of the game, while still feeling the heartache of a detrimental loss.
Clubs around the world paid tribute to Chapecoense, holding a minute of silence before matches. Players have voiced their support for the club, especially Brazilians David Luiz and teammate Willian.
Many clubs around the world have opened their arms to Chapecoense. Multiple teams have offered to loan players to the team as they rebuild for the future. Big name professionals who have recently retired, such as Ronaldihno, have also voiced their willingness to play for them for free. Barcelona, a Spanish club, has invited Chapecoense in their annual Joan Gamper Trophy match.
There is an outpouring of support for the club, who continues to mourn. The club’s vice-president, and now acting president, Ivan Tozzo, has stated that the club will rebuild, but it will need the help of the greater soccer community.
The plane crashed on November 28, killing 71 people. The plane was taking Chapecoense to Medellín, Colombia, to play Atlético Nacional. Chapecoense lost 19 of its players as well as staff members. There were six survivors of the plane crash, including 3 Chapecoense players.